I’ve always known I’ve had a problem with The Rich. I had a bias against The Rich for a long time. It also took me a while to notice I was one of them. I had expected to have inner conflicts by traveling to “third-world” countries (low life expectancy, low standard of living, low literacy rates, high poverty) and being faced with extreme poverty — not only an opposite lifestyle than I was used to, but also a lifestyle that was in direct relationship with my lifestyle : my demands had caused their poverty.
I’ve also known that Mennonites have appeared to favor missions and outreach to places with high levels of poverty and have had few resources to spend for missions and outreach to the upper echelons of society. I knew for this reason that living in one of the highest affluent areas in London could prove interesting as a missionary. I hadn’t, however, expected inner conflicts and deep moments of pain and sorrow as a result.
Have you tried living in the world’s most expensive city while having a deep theological and personal foundation of identity in walking with and learning from the Poor of the earth? It’s trying and tiring. (more…)